W. Sebastiaan Ney took a cell phone photo of food prepared by "Hell's Kitchen" cooking competitor Jon Scallion.

"I sent (the photo) to my dad and told him he should make it," said Ney, 22, of York City. "My dad has been a chef for over 35 years. It's good to see another chef, an up and comer."

Ney and more than 90 people attended a "Hell's Kitchen" viewing party Thursday at New Grounds Roasting Co. at 284 W. Market St. in York City.

Scallion, 27, of West York, is among the top five finalists on the cooking competition shown Thursdays on Fox.

Scallion started out early this year as one of 20 contestants on the reality show, where master chef Gordon Ramsay critiques contestants' skills with a sharp tongue.

The season finale will air at the end of July.

At the viewing party, Scallion cooked and watched Thursday's episode with attendees. The episode featured a cooking competition between the finalists and a team of past show champions who narrowly defeated the current season contestants.

After the event, Scallion answered the crowd's questions about his show experiences. He said his favorite part of the competition is doing the individual challenges.

"It really allows you to show yourself, your own skills and your style," he said.

Scallion also said he admires Ramsay's passion, drive and often-harsh honesty in his efforts to push the competing chefs to perfect their skills.

"But Chef Ramsay will compliment you, too," Scallion said.


"He never misses a beat."

Show producers do not encourage contestants to be dramatic, but honest about their experiences, he said.

"I never said anything about anyone on that camera that I didn't say to their face," Scallion said.

Ney said he is impressed that Scallion has come back to York to share his talent and time with the community.

"He doesn't have a big head," Ney said. "He's down to earth and he's taking his time with people."

Barry Jewels, a mandolinist and frontman for Garrahan's Ghost band, said he was surprised to learn that Scallion is a fan of the group. Garrahan's Ghost, based in York City, performed at the viewing party at Scallion's request, Jewels said.

"It's very enriching to see a local passionate person going for it," Jewels said. "With his success on the show and his luck on where he's going from here, it is an inspiration to see how far he's come."

John Beck, New Grounds booking manager, said party attendees enjoyed Scallion's cooking and appreciated the experience of watching a "Hell's Kitchen" episode with him.

"He's a talented guy, excellent at what he's doing, so laid back," Beck said. "It's just awesome that he came here for the party. It was a pretty sweet night."